Since beginning his Truncate moniker back in 2011, LA-based artist David Flores has rocketed to the dizzying heights of the industry. Growing up on the Cali rave circuit he cut his teeth on desert parties & DIY warehouse raves. These early inspirations are visible in his output as he marries the raw energy of the 90s rave scene with clever sound design and solid musical knowledge to create future-proof dance floor juggernauts time and again.
His latest creations will appear on EI8HT records, the brand-new collaboration between longtime friends and DJ partners, Eats Everything and Andres Campo. Ahead of the ‘TRUNCEI8HT‘ release on August 06, we sat down with the LA producer to dissect the man behind the headphones.
As a young DJ, you were regularly playing the DIY warehouse parties, Desert parties and frequently on the Cali Rave circuit. Can you describe what it was like as an artist earning your stripes in that time? Was it an underground movement, political force or just pure freedom of expression?
Back then for me, it was just about freedom of expression. The whole electronic music scene was all so new and exciting to me. I would save up my lunch money from high school and go record shopping on the weekends, even if I only had enough money to buy 1 record I would still go.
I would go learn to mix on my friend’s turntables and use their records. Once I felt I was good enough I wanted to start getting out there and start playing at some parties. I first started DJing at backyard house parties. You didn’t have to be on the lineup, you can show up with your crate of records and wait in line to spin a quick set. It kept you on point though because there were 10 other DJs waiting to shine. It was pretty wild!
At that time you were playing under the alias “Audio Injection” but in 2011 you started playing as “Truncate” was there a reason you felt you needed a change as an artist?
The whole Truncate project started out just as stripped down DJ tools that I started passing around to my friends. There was never really a need to change my name, but as soon as the tracks started taking off, I started to get gig requests as Truncate and it just kept going from there.
So, unfortunately, we know you are currently nursing a broken leg which has forced you to miss several shows. As an artist how does missing these shows affect you?
For me it is huge. It’s not like this job has sick leave or vacation days. Time off or missed gigs means you’re also losing money. There’s no job security in this DJ life. BUT fortunately, I’m not completely losing out as it is just temporary. Luckily I was able to reschedule and salvage some dates. So this time at home I’m focusing on my recovery and definitely hitting the studio!
We mentioned earlier that you grew up in California and you still live in LA now. How does Cali compare to Berlin or Amsterdam? Is it a place for aspiring artists to grow?
LA is home for me and has always been. I was born and raised here, all my family is here and that’s hard to leave behind. Compared to Berlin or Amsterdam well its sort of hard to compare. Berlin and Amsterdam are basically the techno capitals of Europe. So many artists and parties happen around there so you’re constantly surrounded by like-minded artists. Here in LA, we have a strong healthy scene but you’re not as surrounded by as many artists.
A lot of the younger kids wanna go and move to Europe to pursue their DJ career and that’s totally fine. LA is just so saturated at the moment, rent is crazy-expensive. I think it is still a good place for artists to grow. Maybe not so much in the techno scene but LA is still pretty great musically for all sorts of genres.
As someone that doesn’t make music myself can you tell us your three golden rules to success in the studio?
Always keep learning. Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it.
In terms of your own productions, you have your debut release on EiGHT dropping August 9th. Can you talk us through the EP, your inspirations & how it all came about?
When Dan (Eats Everything) first approached me about making some tracks for the label it was a bit up in the air. I went through my hard drive to see what I had laying around and sent him a bunch of stuff. He liked a lot of what I sent him but then I would listen back to the tracks and tell him, no, let me send you something else.
I kept changing my mind and going back and forth and he was really patient with me. In the end, I started working on new stuff and was getting a lot of my inspiration from old User and Utility Plastics records. I thought this sorta sound would be a good fit for the EP and for the label.
I wanted the tracks to be on the DJ tool side. The first few versions of the tracks I sent him he said he loved them, and I kept going back and changing things here and there. Finally, when I felt they were ready I sent them over to Dan and he said he loved the tracks and was testing them out at gigs and they were sounding great!
Finally, if you could produce a track with any artist past or present who would it be & why?
Musically it probably wouldn’t make sense but I’d love to get in the studio with Flying Lotus, I’ve been a big fan of his music for a long time. If I could somehow make some hybrid techno/hip hop beats with him that would be so amazing.